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Barrett Lake
Sept 11-15

Trip Report: Touch a Truck

May 7, 2017
Trip report by Wade Leishman
Photos by Lori Price

Members in attendance: Doug Rothstein, Mick and Lori, Gary Neier, Wade Leishman, Kyle Carter.

The idea for the SC4WDC to be represented at the first annual Scotts Valley Education Foundation (SVEF) "Touch a Truck" event was raised by ex-president, and all around good guy, Wade Leishman just a couple weeks before the scheduled event on May 7th, 2017. This event was billed as a key fundraiser to support the SVEF (supports Scotts Valley School District public schools) where kids could come and interact with vehicles from dump trucks to helicopters, buses to Police SWAT Vehicles. This seemed like a good opportunity for the club to help support the local community event while also having a chance to interactive with a lot of folks telling them who we were and what we were about.

After some email finagling we received confirmation for 5 Rigs from the club to attend the event. Current club Vice-Pres Doug Rothstien, Mick Sweeney (and Lori) and Wade Leishman brought their TJ/LJ Wranglers, Gary Neier brought his Landcruiser and Kyle Carter (with his daughters) brought his Bronco.

We met at Bruno's BBQ parking lot at 8:30 AM on the day of the event, completed our paperwork and planned our entrance to be held at nearby SkyPark in Scotts Valley. We entered Skypark about 9AM, and pulled into the designated "Off-road Vehicle Area" as instructed by the event organizers. We got our rigs lined up in an approximate semicircle formation that we hoped was conducive for walk-up and kid inter-activeness. Along with our 5 rigs in our area, there was a Fox Racing Raptor Pickup and a couple Fox Racing branded UTVs (that apparently have no emergency brake and we had to help chock the tires with rocks when kids started messing with the gears and they started to roll away), An older gentleman in an old Flat Fender Military Jeep pulled in near us (and then he disappeared for the entire day) as well as a right hand drive Landcruiser from Tepui Tents with a employee (Parker) exhibiting a new Prototype roof tent (that garnered a lot of attention all day). We posted the Club Banner in front of our area and waited for the event to start at 10am.

When the event opened to the public, it was evident that "touching" for most of the kids immediately meant going right for the horn of whatever vehicle they were in and the honking didn't subside for the entire day on most of the vehicles. Wade unplugged his horn under his hood after the first few kids decided to see how long they could hold it down.

There were probably 30-40 other "large" trucks including a city bus, UPS Truck, Front Loaders, Dump Trucks, Cherry Pickers, an RV, Diggers, Several Police Vehicles including SWAT truck, Firetruck, Cement Mixer, etc. Also an inflatable Jump House, Kids Zone (crafts and tattoos and climbing wall), Food Trucks, "Beer Garden", Live Band etc. Everything was Interactive for the kids to climb on, play with and "touch" (with proper supervision of course). The CalStar Helicopter landed in the field nearby at Noon and many many kids rushed for the chance to go sit in it and take photos.

So as the day progressed there were lots of folks coming over to our area and climbing in our rigs with most in Wade's Jeep and Kyle's Bronco (and the strangers old Army Jeep) as they were easiest to access with no top on and no Doors on Wade's TJ. Lots of people taking photos of the kids with big smiles on their faces pushing on buttons and dials and switches (and of course the horns that still worked). Lots of people climbing up the ladder to peek inside Gary's rooftop Tepui tent and asking the Tepui guy about their products.

We spoke to several folks that either knew about who we were but wanted more info or hadn't heard of us or were new to the area and were looking for others to wheel with. We handed our several dozen club business cards and extended invites to future club meetings and talked to a bunch of people about what we do, who we are, where we wheel, etc.

Doug proved especially useful at one point when the generator running the blower for the jumpy house ran out of gas. The event organizers excitedly were looking for anyone with gas so they could refill the generator to keep the jumpy house running. Doug luckily had his Jerry Cans at the ready and after some negotiation of a trade deal for a couple "adult beverages", Doug was able to "save the day" and keep the generator for the Jumpy house fueled up the rest of the day.

It was a beautiful sunny day, cool with a light breeze so pretty optimal for this type of event. The event wrapped up a 3pm and we all packed up and departed for home.

Wade is "lightly" involved with the SVEF and has several friends/contacts close to the organization and was told that after all said and done with the event, the SVEF estimates that over 2,000 people attended, and they will clear between $15,000 and $20,000 that will go directly to help support underfunded programs at the SV Public Schools. They are already discussing plans for next years event and they hope to be able to double the participation and fund raising results. I would hope that the SC4WDC (with a bit more advanced planning) would be willing to participate again, get even more members and rigs involved and possibly even arrange for an "exhibition" of some type with our rigs.

A good time was had by all! :)

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